Entries by Lance Russell

In hindsight, it seems obvious

Part of the fun in looking back through time is examining the origins of the things that today we take for granted. Even though it is obvious that there clearly had to be a first for just about everything, that doesn’t make it any less interesting to find out just exactly how a particular “first” went down. So, once again, we pause to consider just exactly who was the first and what had to happen to make it that way in this week’s Stories of Atlanta.

Not everyone shared his enthusiasm

James Litchfield Beavers is not a name that most Atlantans today are familiar with but, back in his day, James Beavers was “The Man”…literally. For 26 years, James Beavers was a member of Atlanta’s police force and from 1911 to 1915 he was Atlanta’s “Top Cop,” the Chief of Police.

In his almost three decades of police work, James Beavers changed, adapted and grew with the City of Atlanta. He was on duty during Atlanta’s Race Riot of 1906, he was charged with enforcing a city-wide ban on alcohol which took effect in our city 12 years prior to the passage of the 18th amendment. In his capacity as Chief, Beavers oversaw the investigation of the Leo Frank case which garnered nation-wide publicity.

Scary times and nervous people

We are often told that to accurately judge history, it must be viewed through an empathetic lens. It is difficult, they say, to assess actions without applying the standards of the day to those actions. Our story this week is ostensibly about an event pertaining to public safety. There is historical precedence for the actions that were taken, but one wonders…do the times of the day ever justify the suspension of our constitutional liberties? A not so easy question to answer in this week’s Stories of Atlanta.

The dragon that reaches out and grabs you

Roger Babson is the founder of the Gravity Research Foundation, an organization with the stated purpose of studying, understanding and, ultimately, harnessing the force of gravity. It was the childhood drowning of his older sister in a river near Gloucester, Massachusetts that sparked Babson’s life-long interest in finding a way to control the effects of […]